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Smerconish

American political and news stories of the week.

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CNN

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01:01:00

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1920

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1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Benghazi 8, Donald Sterling 6, Us 5, Barbara Walters 4, Bengal 4, Stiviano 3, Harry Reid 3, Geico 3, Oklahoma 3, Julie 2, Lindsay Lohan 2, Lisa 2, Sarah Palin 2, Fico 2, Eli 2, Steve Cooley 2, Seth Meyers 2, Joel Mchale 2, Dan Snyder 2, Susan Rice 2,
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  CNN    Smerconish    American political and  
   news stories of the week.  

    May 3, 2014
    6:00 - 7:01am PDT  

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>> king meets the king. thanks for starting your morning with us. so glad to have you here with us. we are back at the top of the hour. right now you have "smerconish." >> good morning. i'm michael smerconish. first off, v. stiviano. the alleged mistress of donald sterling has broken her silence. c candidly, she says sterling is traumatized and confused. can sterling be forced to sell the l.a. clippers? we will talk to steve cooley and an attorney about the legal line defense. and republicans are shouting cover up. the only cover up is in your gop conspiracy theories. we will talk to the daily beast's eli lake.
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and the search for flight 370 extends to the bay of bengal because one company believes it has found the wreckage. and why opposing sides need to toast in front of the commander in chief. let's get started. >> do you think that donald sterling should apologize? >> absolutely. >> did you discuss this with him? >> yes. >> will he apologize? >> only god knows. >> that's donald sterling's alleged mistress v. stiviano breaking her silence to barbara walters. >> is donald sterling a racist? >> no. i don't believe it in my heart. >> have you heard him say derogatory things about
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minorities in general and blacks in particular? >> absolutely. >> you have heard him say derogatory things? >> yes. >> don't they sound racist to you? >> i think that the things he says are not what he feels. >> sterling himself is breaking his silence. however with a little less flair. sterling told "dejour" magazine, i wish i had just paid her off. the reports that sterling has cancer and all the other nba owners are in the process of trying to force him to sell the team. i want to talk about the legal side. let's bring in steve cooley. he now runs his own consulting firm. and ariva martin. an arthur and managing partner at martin and martin in los angeles. it is not the legal side of it,
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but i find this bizarre. barbara walters started the conversation by pointing out she had just been with sterling. the two cordial despite the revelations. >> really strange things going on, michael, with the story. we heard that sterling was supposed to do the interview with barbara walters, but pulled out at the last minute. so this woman who has caused the demise of the billionaire's empire somehow are still friends. this story is bizarre. i'm not surprised they are still talking. stiviano says she is his confident. his close assistant and there to protect him. >> steve, among the other items of interest, there are so many to talk about today. he says to the magazine, i should have paid her off. what is the implication of him saying that? >> the implication is that he
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may have been extorted. that is simply an implication. he needs to be more forceful and more complete and has to give that story to investigators who can then see if they are corroborate that story in some w way. a lot of implication and not much substance at this stage. that is sort of what is implied. >> let me ask you as the former district attorney for los angeles. should law enforcement, d.a.'s office, look at this given the recordings that came to light. by that i say in the way the recordings were made. >> there is certainly a suggestion an illegal eavesdropping occurred here. that is in violation of california law. assuming all of the parties or victim has expectation of privacy. that is unclear here. if the people present all knew
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was tape recorded, you don't have a violation of law. someone should conduct at least a prelim inquiry and suggest that possible violation of law as well as the extortion angle which has been implied by mr. sterling's statements. >> i want you to listen to more of the interview with barbara walters with stiviano. here is what stiviano has to say about sterling's state of mind. take a listen. >> you just left donald sterling. what is his state of mind right now? >> confused. i think he feels very alone. not truly supported by those around him. tormented. emotionally traumatized. >> areva, i asked steve whether law enforcement should look at the tapes and the way they came
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to light. might those tapes have some significance in a civil setting? >> absolutely. i think we will hear a lot more about the tapes. i think they will play more significantly in the civil case in the event that the nba goes forward trying to force a sale. we know that sterling is very li litigious. the question will become if the tapes are admissible. we heard stiviano say that she had consent from sterling to tape him. his memory was failing and he asked her to tape him so he could remember conversations he was having about his business dealings. we also heard that there are hundreds of hours of other tapes that also include racist and perhaps bigoted comments. i think we will hear a lot about the tapes, particularly if there
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is a civil suit filed to block the sale of the team, which we anticipate may happen if the nba moves forward with the alleged forced sale. >> steve, let me ask you in the court of public opinion, it helps him to have her out there. the visor and all. she seems rather eccentric. that she is perceived that way by the american people. does that make him look sympathetic? >> the cause of sympathy for sterling at this stage is the recent revelation he is afflicted with cancer. the players, the clippers and coach and others respond to that in a very empathetic way. her own conduct, other words as we are hearing them, her appearance, has become somewhat
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the fodder for talk show individuals and others that are casting some sort of questions about where she's coming from. she is not a very sympathetic person under any circumstance. now her appearances, public appearances suggest that there is something a little odd about her. >> areva, one additional piece of sound. listen to what stiviano had to say about her relationship with sterling. >> donald sterling is in his 80s. you are in your 30s. >> yes. i'm 31. >> you're a beautiful young woman. so i'm not sure that i understand the relationship. >> well, i'm mr. sterling's personal assistant. like i said, i'm his right hand. i'm his wing man.
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what isn't there to understand? >> let me ask this. do you and donald sterling have a financial arrangement? you say you are his assistant. does he pay you? >> yes. he pays you as his employee? >> he first started paying me as an employee. he started paying me off the books. >> i am his silly rabbit. i think she goes on to say, areva. interpret what we just heard. >> you know, i think there is a mystery around the relationship is. i did a show earlier in the week where her close friend said they were not sexually involved. she was, in fact, an employee of sterling. she confirmed that in her own words. i want to say despite this odd conduct from this young woman, it doesn't undermine the significance of what sterling said on that tape. i don't think people will be sympathetic to him because she
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is acting some oddly. the comments show him in the most negative light possible. i don't think the public or team or coach will forget that anytime soon despite the odd comments we hear. >> i didn't mean to imply they will. i think they will say he is a racist and they are both a bit off. those are my two cents. i appreciate steve and areva having been here. thank you both. >> thank you. the wreckage of a plane found at the bottom of the bay of bengal. search crews are checking it out now. can this be considered a valid find in the search for missing malaysia flight 370? and following donald sterling for his racist remarks, is it time for the nfl to follow the nba's lead? okay, listen up! i'm re-workin' the menu.
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lido in beijing. it is the home to many of the family members of flight 370 for the past few weeks. it is the place to lean on day in and day out. now the support center there is closed and the families were told to go home. they no longer have a place to stay. after weeks of pleading from the families, the malaysian government released the report on the disappearance. the take away, it took 17 minutes after vanished before officials took notice. then it took a full four hours more before any rescue mission was launched. the search is still going on and the bluefin-21 completed 20 missions scouring the bottom of the indian ocean. you might have heard an exploration company has found what it thinks is plane wreckage in the bay of bengal. the problem is it is thousands of miles from where the search is currently going on. after initially dismissing the claims, investigators say they
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may send a ship to investigate. some bangladeshi ships are there having a look. let me bring in keith masbeck. he is the head of the georesonance foundation. speak to that delay. >> there is a normal delay. we heard about that all week. the handoff with air traffic controllers. it makes me suspicious. if you were going to do something, if you had malintent, that is the time to do it. >> if we were a pair and we wanted to do something to the plane and we looked at the path and timing, this is the time sequence we would have circled. >> that is the time you do it. >> speak to the issue of the bay of bengal. what strikes me, here is a company that is credible. they seem to be putting their reputation on the line and
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saying we think there is a plane in the spot where they haven't been searching for mh-370. if there is nothing there, they have a lot of egg on their face. >> to be sure, michael, it is a bold assertion. the challenge for us in the remote sensing community, those of us who do this for a living, it is not based on science we understand. huge scientific advances all the time. we are living in the age where mirracles happen in science. no one person in our business who understands from an aircraft or from space, you will identify what they talked about identifying 1,000 meters down in the ocean. >> you are a satellite guy. this is your area of expertise. conceivably, they could not have taken a look down and note a plane. how about this, they know something is down there and it won't be mh-370. maybe it is the lochness
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monster. i don't want to make light of it. >> identify there are known wrecks and known debris at the bottom of the ocean in well traveled areas. it is likely there is something there, but they have less egg on their face and it is not mh-370. people believe their technology is viable. >> looking back at the past week, and this was a week where the preliminary report was released. what did you learn in the big picture of where we are in this thing? >> there were a couple of things that were important in terms of fact. the fact, the air traffic control radars. where did they paint that plane? where did the military radars paint that plane? fact, more information released about the inmarsat handshakes. what was missing, any discussion of the affiliation of the cell phone by the first officer. >> keith, thanks as always. donald sterling banned for
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life from the nba for racist remarks. what about what some say is the most blatent of racist sentiments in the nfl? at od, whatever business you're in, that's the business we're in with premium service like one of the best on-time delivery records and a low claims ratio, we do whatever it takes to make your business our business. od. helping the world keep promises. so, if you're what ysleeping in your is youcontact lenses, ask about the air optix® contacts so breathable
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time now for headlines redefined. the headlines that got the story half right. first up from "the new york
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times." one execution botched. oklahoma delays the next. you heard a lot this week about the execution of clayton lo locket locketloc lockett. you did not hear about stephanie nieman. she was two weeks from graduating high school. he bound her with duct tape and made her watch as his accomplice dug her grave and shot her and did not kill her and buried her alive. they need to sort out the issue in oklahoma. for my mind, there was too much this week about him and not enough about her. you remember that headline. the headline that said one execution botched. oklahoma delays the next. i would have written, "convicted murderer dies as horribly as his victim." number two from "usa today." harry reid calls on nfl to
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follow the nba lead to force the change of the redskins name. we know donald sterling is being forced to sell because of the racist remarks. now harry reid is trying to throw redskins and redskins owner dan snyder into the mix. i don't think it is fair. i don't think it is fair dan snyder acquired the team and had that name. he has no history of raciisisra. this is what some said punishing him for what he said behind closed doors. the headline that harry reid calls on nfl to force the change of redskins name. what i would have written, "re-greases the slippery slope." then hair style rules for black women. chuck hagel is saying he will be
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responsive to the complaints raised to the new policies pertaining to hair and hair regulations. there are 26,000 african-american women affected by the policy. i know, you are looking at me and saying you are a bald white guy. what do you know about this? not much until i consulted with ayana byrd. she said there is a texture difference with the hair of whites and blacks and african-american females in particular. they can't just put their hair in a bun unless it is straightened. it is a lot to ask women in service to the country to have a relaxer or a hot comb at the ready. they should change this policy. you remember the headline. pentagon reviews hair style rules for black women. who i would have written, one style does not fit all. does the white house have a
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credibility problem? the republicans think so after a new e-mail surfaces that indicates a cover up. and the white house correspondents dinner is tonight. i think politicians could learn a thing or two from celebrities like john bon jovi. r 75 d 15 days, but not in a row. for the first time, you can use nicorette even if you slip up, so you can reach your goal. now, quit on your own terms with nicorette or nicoderm cq.
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security advisor for communications ben rhodes surfaced. he sent talking points about benghazi to susan rice. the e-mail read, in part, underscore these are rooted in a video and not in policy. the white house had hammered home the point it did not send talking points to rice. two, that e-mail was not turned over to congress when subpoenaed documents related to benghazi. hence the outcry. i sat down for an interview in 2012 with president obama and asked if there was a security threat to the u.s. in benghazi. >> before the attack which killed ambassador stevens, were you aware of any request to increase security? >> you know, i was not personally aware of any request. obviously, we have an infrastructure that is set up to manage requests like that, but
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we will find out exactly what happens. ultimately though, anytime there is a death of an american overseas, i want to find out what happened because my most important job as president is keeping the american people safe and we will get to the bottom of what happened and we will make sure most importantly, those who carried it out, that they are captured. >> congress member issa got to business on friday subpoenaed secretary of state john kerry to come in and explain the issue to congress. does the white house have some spin to do? joining me now to talk about this is senior national correspondent for the daily beast eli lake. eli, is this most recent revelation significant because of e-mail says or it wasn't handed over? >> i think it is both. it actually confirm what is everybody already knew. in the first two weeks after the benghazi attack, you had
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everybody from jay carney to susan rice talking about the internet video and the protests around the middle east and not talking about the rise of jih jihadists and groups in libya that our intelligence officers saw coming and warned about in the months and weeks preceding the benghazi attack. although no tactical warning this particular attack was coming. the other issue is the overall house gop investigation has been done fragmentarily with the house armed services committee and oversight committees all doing different investigations and in some cases, coming to different conclusions. the fact that john boehner is now having one special committee to investigate all of this is significant and i think the catalyst for that decision from the house speaker was the fact that this important e-mail from the perspective of the republicans was basically kept
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from congress until about two weeks ago. >> i think that benghazi has become a catch phrase for so many different complaints about the administration by its critics. do you think now there could be specificity to gain traction? when i sat down with the president as this was all unfolding in the first go-round, what was on people's minds as i asked him if he knew of a security threat. there were other complaints at the time, unfounded, he was in the white house situation room at the time and refusing to put the hammer down. there have been so many different criticisms. will one emerge that gain traction with voters? >> i think you hit on something. a number of different narratives to critique the benghazi situation. some have been debunked and some have not been debunked. what i would say is the thing to watch here as the republicans continue this investigation is will we see a public appearance from some of the special
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operators and cia contractors that arrived at the scene that evening. that is controversial. the house select committee on intelligence interviewed them. will they tell the story to the world and if they do, i think that what will they say? we heard a lot of rumors and rumblings that some of the people who arrived at the scene will have a story that will contradict what we have seen from the official investigations and particularly the state department's own accountability review board. >> eli, we have a minute left. in the end, does the buck stop with secretary clinton and does this become an issue in 2016? >> i think this is an issue in 2016 for hillary clinton in two ways. she will be running on her tenure of secretary of state. this is something that because it was a diplomatic post and requests for more security that were not given to the time would be seen as a failure.
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the second thing is her own accountability review board which she tout a number of times never interviewed her and never found senior officials accountable for benghazi and blamed it on mid officials, one reinstated by john kerry because his dismissal and punishment at the time was not warranted. that could come back to haunt her. >> eli lake, thank you. >> thank you. there is fashion, there is gossip and a lot of celebrities. it is not the oscars, but a lot of politicos that can learn a lot at the white house correspondents dinner. and one locks himself in the studio. all the makings of a political thriller? that's because it is. beautiful day in baltimore where most people probably know that geico could save them money on car insurance, right? you see the thing is geico, well, could help them save on boat insurance too.
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abc news/washington post poll. just 41% approve what he is doing. joining me to talk about the president's rough patch and the pageantry for tonight is pete dominic. did you know a year ago tonight we shutdown a bar, you and i, after the dinner? >> we held a bald quorum. i'm excited for your show. thank you for having me. >> thank you. what is the experience for the take away tonight? >> it is supposed to be fun and for the good cause. when you introduce celebrities, it is about celebrities. there are a lot coming tonight. then the president performing and in this case, joel mchale, comedian. the take away is how did they do. lastly, how abodoes the people t got made fun of handle that.
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>> pete, this has to be the toughest task for a comedian. >> horrible gig. a hell gig. >> how come? >> it is a terrible situation for comedy. you have all the worst elements. you have dinner being served. people talking. >> clanking dishes. >> and self important people who will decide if they can laugh at this. if a camera catches somebody the wrong way, we will talk about that. especially for the first lady michelle obama or anybody else. cameras are on then. if you don't laugh at yourself, that is bad. it is hard for a comedian. this situation is not ideal. >> also, you have to sit there for two and a half hours with that knot in your stomach growing. you have been in this position. you know what it is like when you are about to go on. normally you can decompress. >> joel mchale and jimmy kimmel
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and seth meyers, they have to sit next to the first lady. she has to do that as well. you are exactly right, michael. two hours before they are sitting there. they are going through notes and scratching things off. they are probably writing jokes about the audience. >> if the harshest critics is fair, it is from the president obama. the man has a gift. watch this. >> no one is happier or prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the donald. that is because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter like did we fake the moon landing. what really happened in roswell. and where are biggie and tupac.
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>> you know, i don't know if you know this, michael, the powerful and elite don't like to laugh at themselves. that is the weakness. he needed to laugh at himself. the fact that trump got mad and the president of the united states is saying your name, you should be very happy about that. >> you see his numbers are still in the dumper. >> the president's or trump's? >> both. >> 39%. terrible. nothing that can be said tonight will change the approval rating. >> you know what i think, pete, three years ago, the president sat there on kimmel's watch. >> that was seth meyers. >> you tell. >> seth was hosting the president performed stand-up comedy the night before the osama bin laden raid. the way to mislead. the night before the raid, talk about being nervous. the next day was the most
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important day of the presidency. all of the lives on the line. he had to be up there doing stand up. that is how you know he is good under pressure. let's not forget to give credit to the president's writers. i love how he gives a little laugh or titter to the jokes himself. in my opinion, a tribute to whoever wrote them. >> right. when he leaves, what he is doing now, if he chooses to go this route and enter your profession and profession of others, he could give you a run. one serious point. i will comment at this at the end of the broadcast. >> sure. >> my take away, i have been there once, i said this gets wrapped from the outside. sarah palin. this is what they need more of with each other. have a drink together. go break bread. >> should journalists be
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socializing with the people they are covering. it is interesting to see them mixing. i'm looking forward to tonight. there is a good legitimate question and integrity. should all of the celebrities be taken away from it. >> we can get rid of the celebrity factor, maybe. it was cool to see michael douglas when i had the chance. >> i met daniel day lewis. >> ed henry from fox. no more harsh critic from the administration. no one grills jay carney more than he does. i think that dispels the notion if you are breaking bread, you will go easy. he did not. great to see you. >> thanks for having me around. i hope everybody buys your book. i'm looking forward. >> i won't be there to shutdown the joint. pete, thank you. you can catch his show stand up daily on sirius xm radio and
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watch the coverage tonight here on cnn starting at 8:00. a radio talk show host will say the most outrageous things to get to the top and more on the correspondents dinner. politicians have a lot to learn about the celebrities in attendance and it ain't about fashion. i tried depend last weekend. it really made the difference between a morning around the house and getting a little exercise. unlike the bargain brand, depend gives you new fit-flex®, our best protection. it's a smooth and comfortable fit with more lycra strands.
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this week's book club selection could say is near and dear to my heart. this is "the talk" written by yours truly. it is about the rise of the talk show host who will do anything to get on top. this week, we decided to do something different. this week, the table is turned literally. brian stelter sits in my chair and interviews me about my brand new book "talk." >> so the tables are turning here michael. this seems like -- >> this is awkward over here. >> a real life book. why fiction? >> i wrote it as a novel. it is intended to be a bawdy read. it has a very serious message about, in my view, the impact or effect of a polarized media. i could have more easily written this as non fiction, but i
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thought it will be more impactful. 50 shades of talk radio i had on my mind to be entertaining and deliver the message i want to deliver. we ceded control of the conversation to men and women with microphones who are stirring a false divide in the country. >> your character that is struggling with this is stan powers. he is a florida talk radio host. one difference right away. tell me his struggle. >> stan is a former stoner and slacker. he has no expertise. he grew up in ft. myers area and learns he has a knack for choosing music that people like to listen to. parlays that into the career of a classic rock dee jay. through happen stance, gets involved in the world of talk radio. they say don't worry. it is easy. it is paint by numbers.
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toe a consistent line. he does that. the more he says that which he disagrees with permanesonally, higher his star rises. >> the character i found most interesting is the consultant who is telling him what to do. at one point, conservative and consistent and compelling. those are the three words. >> phil deemed the character i wrote about is the embodiment of so many individuals i met and reacted with in talk radio. i want people to say is that the way it works? largely, yes. >> three extremists are worth more than ten moderates. >> it means that ratings in the radio business are governed by passion. >> how long you listen. >> how long you listen. that is why they are constantly stirring the divide and trying to rally the troops with red
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meat on the left or right. it is not how much you reach, but develop a hard core constituency coming back for more. it is not just talk radio, cable television news world as well. >> so are you stan powers? >> i am not stan. i said a lot of ridiculous things over the years, but i believed every one of them when i was saying them. this is a guy who is saying whatever it takes to get to the top and he is just finding it unbelievably easy to parrot this conservative line and ride the wave. >> who is it modelled on? who should we be hearing when we read the book? rush or glenn? >> all the usual suspects. i am saying it goes on on the left and it goes on on the right. it is doing the country a disservice. people need to take back the conversation. >> i heard you say in the past people like rush limbaugh, you
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wonder if they believe everything they are saying on the radio. >> how could you? a broken clock is right twice a day. how can everything barack obama does be wrong? how can he be the anti-christ in everything? from the left perspective, how can everything from his administration be absolutely appropria appropriate? >> what does your character in the book end up doing? >> i have to say this, it's a novel. he's not my character. i will say that there is a climatic scene at the end where he delivers a monologue on radio having locked himself in the studio. you have to read that far in the book to see which way stan powers goes. >> when did you find time to write it? >> i thought to write fiction, you get to make everything up. it has to easier than non
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ficti fiction. it was a difficult task. >> michael, best of luck with the book tour. >> thanks, brian. brian, thank you for that. my book comes out on tuesday. it is a fun read. i hope you can pick it up. lindsay lohan and kim kardashian. what do they have to do with the white house? more than you know. what you wear to bed is your business. so, if you're sleeping in your contact lenses, ask about the air optix® contacts so breathable they're approved for up to 30 nights of continuous wear. ask your doctor about safety information as serious eye problems may occur. visit airoptix.com for a free one-month trial. i've quit for 75 days. 15 days, but not in a row. for the first time, you can use nicorette even if you slip up, so you can reach your goal. now, quit on your own terms with nicorette or nicoderm cq.
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one last thing. tonight is the white house correspondents dinner. the night where washington insiders and pundits and hollywood combine for what is dubbed the nerd prom. some are dismissive. tom brokaw said the breaking point for me is lindsay lohan.
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she came as a guest of greta van susstren. mark told cspan, there is a level of self congratulation that can be somewhat at odds of the country. sarah palin tweeted that white house correspondent dinner was pathetic. the rest of america is out there working our asses off while the d.c.-clowns are holding a nerd prom. i beg to differ. the element is a distraction, the value of the gathering in a town poisoned by polarization is invaluable and raising money for the scholarships is commendable. i can see merit focusing on
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celebrity excess. many of us were told we were judged by the company we keep and perhaps there is an applicability to the sentiment. with the likes of lohan and the donald and ozzy osbourne in attendance. from my seat, eric stonestreet and gloria were two tables away. behind me, jon bon jovi. you know who i did not see? members of congress. with a dinner on saturday night, most are home in their districts. that is too bad. the nation would be better served instead of going home to raise money, stuck around and broke bread with colleagues. above all else, what the dinner showcases is what the leadership often lacks. civility. it is reminisce of the
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pennsylvania society. i remember in 2007, when senator arlen spector received that group's highest award, the gold medal. he summed up the night's value. he said if you can lift a glass together with your colleague from across the aisle on a saturday night in new york, you can lift a pen with that colleague on monday morning in philadelphia, pittsburgh or harrisburg or any place in our state. take a deep breath. tell a joke. laugh together and get more done come monday. thank you so much for watching. i'll see you back here next saturday. have a great weekend. we h